Category Archives: Newsletter

Any post that is intended to edn up in the bi-monthly news letter

The 2017 MEA Scholarship Application

Last year, 19 new winners and 15 returning college students were awarded scholarships totaling $30,300. The dollar amount for the 2017 scholarships and the number of scholarships to be awarded will be determined at the March 30, 2017 Scholarship Fund Trustee’s meeting.

Scholarships will be awarded to dependents of MEA members in good standing who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Dependent of MEA member or MEA-Retired member in good standing.
  • Graduate of a Michigan public high school or private high school that has an MEA bargaining unit.
  • Will attend or is currently an undergraduate student of a Michigan public community/junior college, four-year degree-granting institution, or vocational training institution that grants a degree, certification or license. Those attending the following private institutions ONLY are also eligible: Baker College-Flint/Owosso; University of Detroit–Mercy; Adrian College; Finlandia University; and Albion College. (The aforementioned private institutions are existing local MEA affiliates.)
  • The scholarship will not be awarded for the purpose of working on a post-baccalaureate degree.

For more information, and to complete the 2017 MEA Scholarship application form online, go to the following link:

The online application allows users to enter text into it and then can be saved and printed to mail. The Deadline is February 23, 2017.

If you need additional information, please contact Barb Hitchcock at

Know Your Contract

by Melanie  Waltz, MEA Uniserv Director

Does your job require you to be available after work hours? Or work beyond your scheduled work day?

As a professional, you may be required by your supervisor to be on standby or called into report to work if your job duties include after hour emergencies. Your APA Contract has specific language regarding overtime work and payment.

If you are an APA level 8-11, and you are placed on standby, you shall be guaranteed at least (1) one hour pay at straight time or equivalent in compensatory time for every 24-hour period scheduled for standby. Upon reporting to work, APA members shall be paid for the actual time worked at the rate of time and one-half or a minimum of two (2) hours, whichever is greater. If you are required to report for emergency duty at the employer’s request, outside regularly scheduled working hours, you shall be guaranteed at least (3) hours of pay at the rate of time and one-half.

For those who do qualify for overtime, you have a right to overtime if you work in excess of 40 hours in a week. Compensatory time can be used instead of payment of overtime by mutual agreement. The APA member must agree that the time will be compensated by compensatory time not payment. If the APA member does not agree, the overtime is automatically paid as overtime wages at the rate of one and one-half hours of pay.

APA members at level 12 and above are not eligible for overtime pay. However, where unusual staffing and work requirements exist, the unit administrator may approve compensatory time off equal to the number of overtime hours worked.

The reason APA members at level 12 and above are not contractually allowed standby and call in compensation, is because the University insisted the benefit reflect the current overtime qualification and those APA members who qualify for overtime are APA level 8-11. However, changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act will have an impact on all APA members who make less than $47,476. Regardless of your APA level, if you make less than $47, 476 annually, you will be eligible for overtime beginning December 1, 2017.

To review your APA contractual provisions, go to:

If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance by contacting the MSU APA office at (517) 999-4004 or email

Is it really almost the end of October?

by Sue Brandt, APA Communications Committee Co-Chairperson

Is anyone else feeling like they are just now catching their breath after the busy start of fall semester? I cannot believe how fast the semester has flown by. If your department is anything like ours, hiring students has been an extra challenge this year and things have been very crazy. There is an end in sight and things seem to be slowing down and we are now able to circle back on some of the items on the To-Do-List. At the September APA Meeting, the Executive Board confirmed the membership of the standing committees. By the next newsletter you will likely see more information on some of the events and things being planned for this year from the Community Based Events Committee and Membership Committee among others so stay tuned!

Your Fellow APs

Our APA Member Spotlight this month is highlighting Jeremy Romel, Residence Education and Housing Services.


What is your job title?

Community Operations Coordinator


How long have you been at MSU?

11 years


Have you been a member of the APA the whole time?

No, I was APSA for 7 years when I was the Front Desk Manager at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center


Can you tell me a little about what you do?

I oversee 6 service center desks in East Neighborhood which consist of Akers, Holmes and Hubbard with a staff of about 80 student employees.  The Service Center is the main desk in the residence halls where residents can come up and get resources they need. I work on making sure staff provide great customer service and make the resident feel like they are at home.


What brought you to your job at MSU?

I was looking for a hotel job as that is what my major is in and saw that the Kellogg Center was looking for an Assistant Front Desk Manager. It also brought me back home as I grew up in DeWitt. So I would be closer to family.


What do you love about working at MSU?

I love the school spirt. No matter where you go and you say “Go Green”, people say “Go White”.

I also love being able to help the students grow and see them develop and see the joy when they graduate and watch them grow while here at MSU.


What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I love to spend time with Family and friends. I love to Travel and Love Disney.

Questions From The Trenches

For this installment of APA Questions From The Trenches, we asked APA President Maury Koffman to answer questions regarding the APA 2016 October wage increase.


How much is the negotiated APA annual wage increase this year for 2016?

For October 2016, the salary increase will be provided as a 1% across-the-board base wage increase. In other words, all members will receive a minimum of a 1% base wage increase this month.


How much is the negotiated APA annual wage increase next year for 2017?

The APA negotiated annual wage increase is applied every year in October. For next year in October 2017, the APA annual base wage increase is 1.9%. Per the APA contract, 40% of the wage increase is automatic – across the board – and 60% applies the merit pay guidelines that require objective and consistent application. Your immediate supervisor should also provide advance notice of you annual wage increase amount before it is realized on your October 2017 paycheck.


How is the merit pay portion of the wage increase determined for 2017?

The APA contract codifies a mandatory objective process in determining the merit pay portion of the APA annual wage increase. The full details can be found within the APA contract. In short, the criteria must be openly communicated and objectively applied in the department. Additionally, the decision on merit pay allocation is to be discussed between you and your immediate supervisor before your October 2017 paycheck is issued.


Does the APA contract define a minimum and maximum annual salary for all members of the bargaining unit?

Yes and no. The APA contract outlines minimum salary requirements for all grade levels within the bargaining unit. The APA base wage increases serve only a floor and your supervisor/department may provide you with a greater salary increase in October or throughout the year in addition to the APA negotiated base wage increases. 


How does the formula work to determine my annual base wage increase?

The formula defines the annual APA raises based on the amount of the health care cost increase from the previous year.  You can review the formula on page six (6) of the Wage and Health Care Agreement on the APA website:



For me, at age 33, this truly is the most important election of my life. Today, like never before, the polarized nature of politics in the U.S. makes for a stark contrast between presidential candidates.

There is no doubt our choice in November will impact not only the next four or eight years but also an entire generation of people. It will determine the next (at least) three U.S. Supreme Court Justices, secretaries for the departments of Education and Labor, plus funding for public education, kindergarten through graduate school. It will also define how the U.S. engages globally, and for millennial voters it will serve as the moment when we decide to be part of a political process that establishes a government that works for a few wealthy elites or whether hard working union members can elevate the middle class in our country.

Our national affiliate, the NEA, has the fortunate opportunity to focus solely on public education when we interview candidates. NEA can look past party affiliation to ask simply whether the candidate will help advance public education in collaboration with NEA and how she or he will support organized labor.

To me, the choice is clear. I am proud and excited to support NEA’s recommended candidate for president, Hillary Clinton.

Secretary Clinton fully supports public colleges and universities, and understands that higher education is the foundation to advancing our country and a path for the American Dream. She has pledged to remove barriers to higher education, and will ensure students can graduate debt-free. She also has pledged to add $25 billion to support historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, and minority serving institutions.

Her history demonstrates a genuine commitment to students and public education. After law school, Secretary Clinton chose to join the Children’s Defense Fund where she went door-to-door gathering stories about the needs of children with disabilities. Ultimately, it was her advocacy that led to the passage of legislation to provide quality education for students with disabilities.

So, whether it is on overturning Citizens United, stopping privatization of ESPs and our education workforce, or addressing student debt and support for vocational and technical education programs, Secretary Clinton embodies the values of our union.

Our fight has been her life’s work, and we are confident that when she becomes the next president, she will enable the APA and NEA to have a voice like never before to help inform federal policies and initiatives.

On November 8th, I hope you will join me in casting your vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States!


Clinton Address to NEA 2016 RA

Clinton at NEA RA

by Maury Koffman, APA President

On July 5, 2016, the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, delivered a rousing address to the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly. She began her comments by explaining her vision to strengthen public education, K-12 and colleges and universities. Clinton made it clear that any national campaign to create great schools for every student will only succeed with the strong voices of those educators who serve students everyday.

“I’m with you,” the presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee declared to enthusiastic applause. “I have this old-fashioned idea that we should listen to the teachers and the support professionals who are with our kids every day.”

Lifting up educators will be central to Clinton’s plans for public education if elected in November. In her RA speech, she announced plans to launch a national campaign to elevate our professions that will spotlight the importance of career-long professional development, higher salaries for teachers and support staff professionals, and relief for crippling student debt.

“Unions helped create the strongest middle class in the history of the world. You’re not just fighting for your members. You’re fighting for your students, and families across the country.”

In her speech, Clinton proudly contrasted her vision for public education with that of her opponent in November, Donald Trump. She derided the GOP nominee’s plan to eliminate the Department of Education and slash funding for critical programs – from pre-k to Pell Grants – that serve low-income students. “[Trump] has said that America spends too much on education. He would leave our most vulnerable students to fend for themselves. He shouldn’t have anything to do with our children’s education.”

“I’m asking you – and all educators across the country – to work with me. Advise me, hold me accountable. And keep advocating for your students and your professions.”


NEA Representative Assembly Recap

by Maury Koffman, APA President

The 95th  NEA Representative Assembly (RA) kicked off on the morning of July 4 with the typical energetic celebration among the 7,000 delegates in attendance.

As the top decision-making body for the 3 million-member NEA, the RA debated 125 new business items that are intended to help direct the efforts of our national union in the coming year. Some key new business items called on the Association to join a national effort to prevent acts of violence targeted at LGBTQ individuals and to protect their civil rights. Others addressed funding and debt free programs for colleges and universities.

“We are making a long-term investment. An investment that will command persistence and struggle and commitment and a whole lot of work from every single one of us,” said NEA Vice President Becky Pringle.

On July 5, delegates were visited by the presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

On July 6, NEA’s Executive Director John Stocks addressed the RA and warned the delegates that the new generation of educators may not necessarily understand how vital our union can and will be to them and their students.

“We must become relevant to them, to help them meet the changing needs of their students…to help them be successful educators” Stocks said. “And we must act with urgency.”

The RA is the top decision-making body for NEA and, after days of debate, concluded at 9:31pm on Thursday, July 7.

APA Board member Deb Porter shares her perspective on the 2016 NEA Representative Assembly:

Once a year our national affiliate, the National Education Association, holds a convention requesting delegates from every state attend to develop and do the business of the organization. These are the folks that represent over 3 million public education employees, from pre-school thru higher education and are there to represent you. This year there were approximately 7,000 delegates in attendance.

The assembly itself is just a few days, however there are numerous meetings and committees in the days prior to the assembly. I had the honor and privilege to be your representative at the National Council for Higher Education and the National Council for Education Support Professionals prior to the 2016 National Education Association Representative Assembly (RA). In addition, I also attended the RA as a state delegate for the Michigan Education Association.

Every day we started about 6-6:30 AM and went to 7, 8 or 9 PM. We worked on amendments to the constitution, bylaws and standing rules. We worked on resolutions and policy statements as well as business items as well as passing the budget. We listened to speakers such as Jahana Hayes, Teacher of the Year; Doreen McGuire-Grigg’s, ESP of the Year; John Stocks, NEA Executive Director; friends of education Senator Patty Murray and Senator Lamar Alexander; Lily Eskelsen Garcia and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.

My take away from the time spent at the assembly is this. We are very lucky to be associated with an organization that cares and works hard for our children, families, communities and all educational professionals at every level. They are passionate about what they do, knowing they may not always agree, however they are willing to listen, engage and advocate for education. I am proud to be a member of the NEA!